Love to hear some critiques and views on pitching motion


#21

[quote=“joearnz”][quote=“Roger”]I noticed the following things:

First off, thanks for everyone taking the time to reply.
(1) Leans sideways (toward 2B) at start of stride. This seems to coincide with the collapse of the back leg to initiate the stride. The head and shoulders need to stay slightly behing the front hip into foot strike but should not otherwise lean towards 2B. Starting with the knees bent more may help minimize the “collapse” and the resulting posture change. Keep in mind that when a pitcher dips, he’s simply adjusting to a posture that he has the strength to maintain - a more athletic position if you will. He might as well start in that position and eliminate the extra movement during his delivery.

Do you mean he tends to lean back (i.e. towards 2nd base) when posting in the beginning of the windup? Or did you mean he’s tilting off towards 1st base from the front view?[/quote][/quote]
I was referring to the point where he has turned into the closed position for knee lift. At that point, “back” to me means towards 1B and “sideways” towards 2B. I meant sideways - towards 2B.

quote Appears to be rather upright throughout the entire delivery. This probably has the effect of shortening the stride. Again, I’d suggest starting with the knees bent a bit.

I actually thought he may be bending his post leg a little too much. Do you think this is not the case and he needs to be bending even more?[/quote]
He starts off standing very tall. Them he does take a dip at the beginning of his stride. But if you look at the angle of his front knee at foot plant, it’s not bent that much. Many pitchers plant the front foot with the front knee bent close to 90 degrees. Now, he doesn’t necessarily need that much of a bend. But the lack of a more bend is, to me, an indicator that he isn’t building up momentum and getting as long of a stride as he could.

quote Hips start forward very late - after the apex of knee lift when the knee has started to drop. This has the effect of minimizing momentum. I suggest pushing the hips toward home plate sooner (like right before the knee reaches its apex) and faster. This will feel awkward so he needs to stick with it and give it a chance.

Agree…I’ve enjoyed your posts on momentum and the House theory. I’ve definitely seen this in some other MLB pitchers who’ve been analyzed on this site. It’s just basically starting to move forward as the knee comes to it’s apex, right? Starting the hips moving forward if you will, which likely will result in him having to get his stride foot out quicker, correct?[/quote]
Correct and correct.

quote Back foot lifts off the ground instead of dragging and then lifting. This indicates that the head and shoulders are probably getting out front too soon which results is throwing with just the arm. He needs to keep his head and shoulders stacked upright longer. As the shoulders rotate, the lower back will arch to hold the head and shoulders upright. The back will release about the same time the throwing arm snaps forward.

I’ve always had this going on with him and havn’t been able to correct it. His back toe is off the ground at ball release. One of the few MLB pitchers I’ve seen who also does this is Curt Schilling who’s back toe is up around 4 or 5 inches at release. I’m not quite sure how I can get him to keep this toe down until release. Is there any drills that may work?[/quote]
Remember that for every recommendation you receive, there will always be someone who deviates from it. There are no absolutes. But, by and large most of the top pitchers keep the foot down. Now, you also have to remember DM’s point about pitching being a holistic thing. You won’t just change the back foot without changing something else. House uses the analogy of the sail and the keel of a sailboat. When the sail tilts one way, the keel tilts the opposite the way. Thus, if the back foot is lifting early, that indicates the upper body is tilting forward early. There are some NPA drills that put the body through the leading with the hips, tracking forward while keeping the head and shoulders stacked, and rotating the shoulders around an upright spine. Examples include the mirror drill and the towel drill (total, rocker and stack & track variations).

EDIT: I should have read ahead to see DM’s post. Yeah, what he said!


#22

[quote=“joearnz”]One technical question.

How does keeping the back toe down upon ball release affect velocity or have an impact on the rotational forces if at all?

By raising this toe too soon, how is that impacting the velocity at ball release in technical terms again? Roger went over it a little, but I’m still trying to envision it in my mind.[/quote]
Well, if lifting the toe means the upper body has gotten out front too early, then there’s a good chance that the body isn’t in a position to tap into the energy transferred up through it. All that will be left to throw with will be the arm. That can adversely affect velocity.

You can feel this effect by over-exagerating it. Simply lean way forward on one foot until you’re about to fall over and then try to throw. You just can’t use the body to throw - you can only use your arm.

Leaning to the left would cause his back foot to kick out to the right. Does that mean it could pull his foot off the ground? Maybe. But the tilt to the left at release is really a separate issue.

I feel it is the head and shoulders not staying stacked into release.


#23

The comments here about how he drops back/leans back a bit too much with his head and shoulders — what might that cost him? Velocity or control?

Also, Roger used the term “stacked” in that he’s not keeping his head and shoulders “stacked” … what does that mean?


#24

[quote=“andrew.ra.”]The comments here about how he drops back/leans back a bit too much with his head and shoulders — what might that cost him? Velocity or control?

Also, Roger used the term “stacked” in that he’s not keeping his head and shoulders “stacked” … what does that mean?[/quote]

Jeff Weaver comes to mind as a guy who drops and bends at the waist a bit like this kid. But it’s done at what cost?

What are the benefits of staying straight/tall with your back throughout?

Someone here mentioned that the drop/bend thing with the waist and shoulder might just be a pitcher positioning his body to where he has the most strength?

I ask b/c I too am a dipper, much like Weaver.


#25

It could cost him control, velocity, and distance. Dropping and leaning can cause balance problems and that, in turn, can lead to control roblems. Also, if he doesn’t recovery from this posture issue, he might not get to a position where he can maximize hip and shoulder rotation thereby affecting velocity. Finally, posture issues pull the release point back away from the target which increases the distance the ball has to travel and increasing the amount of time the batter has to see and react to the ball.

Stacked just means upright.


#26

I see… but is it possile that leaning might just be a pitcher positioning his body to where he has the most strength?


#27

[quote=“Roger”][quote=“joearnz”]One technical question.

How does keeping the back toe down upon ball release affect velocity or have an impact on the rotational forces if at all?[/quote]

By raising this toe too soon, how is that impacting the velocity at ball release in technical terms again? Roger went over it a little, but I’m still trying to envision it in my mind.[/quote]
Well, if lifting the toe means the upper body has gotten out front too early, then there’s a good chance that the body isn’t in a position to tap into the energy transferred up through it. All that will be left to throw with will be the arm. That can adversely affect velocity.

You can feel this effect by over-exagerating it. Simply lean way forward on one foot until you’re about to fall over and then try to throw. You just can’t use the body to throw - you can only use your arm.

Leaning to the left would cause his back foot to kick out to the right. Does that mean it could pull his foot off the ground? Maybe. But the tilt to the left at release is really a separate issue.

I feel it is the head and shoulders not staying stacked into release.[/quote]

thanks Roger, excellent feedback, appreciate the time, I think I understand the importance of it now.


#28

One more question.

What do you guys think with respect to his lead leg in the intial lift to the balance point.

I noticed that he is almost taking his knee back to 2nd base vs. straight out at you from the side.

What do most pitchers do and what are the downsides or plusses of taking his knee back.

From the video, I just noticed this because he used to just take his knee and point it out horizontally and not take it and point it back to 2nd.


#29

That’s a good observation. Tom House recently came out with his Posture Paradox which says that regardless of a pitcher’s starting posture he will adjust to that posture he has the strength to maintain throughout his delivery. Now, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter what your starting posture is. Instead, it means you should start out in that posture to cut out the adjustment during your delivery as that “adjustment” is really just unwanted movement.

In Weaver’s case, I can only speculate. But I’d guess his lean was more likely a flaw than an adjustment to a stronger posture because I don’t think a back lean is a strong position.


#30

[quote=“joearnz”]One more question.

What do you guys think with respect to his lead leg in the intial lift to the balance point.

I noticed that he is almost taking his knee back to 2nd base vs. straight out at you from the side.

What do most pitchers do and what are the downsides or plusses of taking his knee back.

From the video, I just noticed this because he used to just take his knee and point it out horizontally and not take it and point it back to 2nd.[/quote]

First of all, I suggest losing the notion of a “balance point”. Check out the videos posted by dm59 in the “getting the hips going” thread and you’ll see that those pitchers don’t come any where near reaching a balance point. By the time their knee reaches the apex of their knee lift, their hips are going forward and their weight is committed.

Now, regarding your son’s front leg, I wouldn’t worry about it. It really doesn’t matter whether he lifts it straight up, takes it back toward 2B, or splits the difference. Nolan Ryan lifted his knee straight up. Orel Hershiser took his knee back toward 2B. Randy Johnson splits the difference and takes his front knee to his back shoulder. The time it takes a pitcher’s leg to do what ever it does is important - it is part of the pitcher’s timing. But from a timing standpoint, it doesn’t matter which way the leg goes. Furthermore, getting the hips going while maintaining the same knee lift - regardless if which way the leg goes - will still contribute to an increase in momentum.


#31

If leaning over and doing that dip is the posture where a particular pitcher might find the strength to maintain strength throughout his delivery, how can he have a starting posture that is accordingly… I mean, should he be hunched over as he takes his first step back with his glove side foot? … I don’t think I’ve ever seen that.

Shouldn’t every pitcher start standing straight up atop the rubber?


#32

[quote=“Roger”][quote=“joearnz”]One more question.

What do you guys think with respect to his lead leg in the intial lift to the balance point.

I noticed that he is almost taking his knee back to 2nd base vs. straight out at you from the side.

What do most pitchers do and what are the downsides or plusses of taking his knee back.

From the video, I just noticed this because he used to just take his knee and point it out horizontally and not take it and point it back to 2nd.[/quote]

First of all, I suggest losing the notion of a “balance point”. Check out the videos posted by dm59 in the “getting the hips going” thread and you’ll see that those pitchers don’t come any where near reaching a balance point. By the time their knee reaches the apex of their knee lift, their hips are going forward and their weight is committed.

Now, regarding your son’s front leg, I wouldn’t worry about it. It really doesn’t matter whether he lifts it straight up, takes it back toward 2B, or splits the difference. Nolan Ryan lifted his knee straight up. Orel Hershiser took his knee back toward 2B. Randy Johnson splits the difference and takes his front knee to his back shoulder. The time it takes a pitcher’s leg to do what ever it does is important - it is part of the pitcher’s timing. But from a timing standpoint, it doesn’t matter which way the leg goes. Furthermore, getting the hips going while maintaining the same knee lift - regardless if which way the leg goes - will still contribute to an increase in momentum.[/quote]

Thanks…and I believe I understand the importance of the momentum issue…I’ll go back and review DM’s thread though as I agree there isn’t much stopping in any MLB pitcher at a balance point.